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Matthew Narain uses project materials to design a new lesson!

In summer 2019 I attended a seminar at the University of Manchester aimed at teachers of Religious Studies.  At the event we were introduced to an array of resources and asked to email if we created any lesson plans.  Well, better late than never I hope, but I’ve created a lesson utilizing some of these resources.  It’s a bit of a crow-barred lesson in truth as I don’t actually teach Hinduism in any SOW, so I’ve tried to fit it into a Sikhism SOW instead.   

A section of a slide from Matthew’s powerpoint showing the kinds of links that can be created between caste,

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School and College Teaching Resources

Some of the materials collected as part of this project can be used to enhance learning for school and college students taking N5 and Highers qualifications in Religious and Moral Education. 

In particular, these resources are useful for examining the World Religions units within the following courses.  These units are designed to challenge students to interpret and comment on the meaning and context of religious beliefs, practices and sources.

For students studying Christianity as a World Religion, the resources you will find here provide a unique opportunity to interpret and comment on these issues. 

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A Dinner Cooked by the World Kitchen Team in Leith: food for thought?

Plate of apples

The World Kitchen Team were involved with us from the start after Gavin introduced me to Fay Young.

Working with the communities in Leith and Edinburgh, Fay (http://www.leithopenspace.co.uk/) had plenty of experience supporting events for the wider community. She was very interested in the issues that we as a research team were investigating and we had plenty to talk about regarding religious identities, religious conversion and the kinds of barriers around religion that keep people apart. The rest of the team were as interested in participating Fay reported. They were happy to cook us a full meal on the evening.

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The Languages of Religion: Translating Hopes and Fears….

Leith Theatre event

On a cold, crisp November evening, we welcomed our participants at the grand and recently renovated Leith Theatre.

We could see everyone was a bit wary, wondering what exactly they had signed up for! Gavin, warm and friendly and well used to meeting nervous participants, soon put them at ease. After a round of introductions, including Gavin on image theatre and myself about the research project, we played some fun ‘warm up’ games. One of the activities for instance involved the group working together in sets of three to make distinct shapes (alternating between ‘tree’,

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Poems from the Workshop-Victoria Ramsay

At the workshops, I enjoyed attempting to describe ‘the indescribable’. I realised that just by trying to write about a mystery is enough of a process to turn a handle (or a page), toward the direction of yet another mystery.

During the first workshop our group was given an opportunity to speak about our religious or non-religious lives, our early spiritual upbringings and how many of us, over the years had strayed from whatever faith-based religions we once grew up with. I was curious to hear how other folk, later in their lives, had realised and accepted varying conversions to different organised faiths.

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Poems from the Workshops-Simon Weller

INVENTION

Invenio – I discover (I think!).
I think.  I discover.

Discovery joins old notions in new ways.
I put things together.  I am a joiner

Of words.  What shall I make?
The world has enough chairs, tables, timetables.

I can put myself together with this time, this place,
A quiet Thursday evening in the Old Town:

With this house full of books, I suspect, full
Of joined-up writing,

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Self-Transformations: Poetry Reading Celebrating Scottish Interfaith Week

Georgi Gill introducing the poets, Storytelling Court, November 18, 2016

Ten participants gathered together at the Scottish Poetry Library on three Thursdays in a row this November to explore their faith journeys and to write of their transformation towards or out of faith. At each workshop led by a different poet, they tried their hand at Haiku and free verse in timed exercises and in free flow. Word associations and images suggested at the workshops stirred thoughts and emotions later in the week and several participants wrote poetry, some for the first time, some after a long gap and others who were old hands at poetry probed this new combination of subjects—faith,

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Explorations through Being Human Festival 2016

How can we explore in meaningful ways how languages construct concepts related to the sacred?

Looking for creative means to approach this rather abstract question, I came across the work of Active Inquiry (http://www.activeinquiry.co.uk/) and contacted Gavin Crichton its artistic director to see if techniques from Image theatre might be of any help. Gavin thought that this was certainly possible and was enthusiastic about giving it a try. We discussed theatre techniques that had been developed by the Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Baol (1931-2009) and whether these could be used to pick apart and analyse concepts considered central to religions.

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Self-Transformations: Writing Faith Journeys in Verse – Tariq Latif

“I was raised on a farm, in the Punjab,
where death and life were accompanied
with the utterance of Allahu Akbar.
Each day and each season’s harvest
was an expression of Gods’ grace.”

This is a quote from my most recent poem titled “Faith with doubt,” which I wrote specifically in preparation for my workshop. The idea of a divine creator was as natural and as real as breathing for me. This was re-inforced even more when I studied Physics at Sheffield University in 1984 when a friend handed me a copy of the Bible.

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Self-Transformations: Writing Faith Journeys in Verse – Sam Tongue

samuel-tonguePoetry is made of language and we live, and move, and have our being in language. Our thoughts, our hopes, our loves, and our faiths are expressed in language. But none of us are truly monoglot; our words and concepts are borrowed from other languages and dialects and as we travel and experience other cultures and faiths, we constantly translate ourselves into and out of other languages and traditions.

Poems are like this. I think of a poem as a made thing, an invention, from the Latin invenio, which means to both invent and discover. In writing a poem,

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